Thursday, February 28, 2008

Idle miscellany...

'nothing organized to be worth a full posting today; just a few bits to pass through...


I have discovered that the Dutch authorities consider my wife and I to be "legally separated".

The tax advisors tell me that if we have not lived together under the same roof during the tax year, we're separated. 'should make for an interesting return when she goes to sign it...

The Dutch Word of the Day, "Lekker belangrijk" ("Who cares?"), kind of captures it, but I'm sure she won't see it that way...


Photo credit flickr


Why are do people in the north of places always look down on people in the south, and vice versa?

In the US North, people in the South were always slow-thinking rednecks, and whenI lived in the south, Northerners were always 'damn Yankees' ('damn Liberals' now).

In the South of England, things were pretty much unprintable about Northerners, while friends in Manchester made fun of Southern airs.

Then there's the whole North and South of the grote rivieren thing here, and even worse reserved for the Belgians.

Oddly consistent, and seldom East to West, even in relatively square countries like the Netherlands.


And then this has shown up parked outside Arnhem....


...should I worry?


I'm in the market for (finally) getting a bicycle for my birthday next month, celebrating a year in the Netherlands. I know bikes are a big deal here, so I don't want to get something out-of-place.

An informal survey, surprisingly, reveals a lot of people with mountain bikes.
Ummm ... why, here, of all places, are gears and studded tires necessary...?

Of course, it's been pointed out that the truly exciting opportunity is to go out in Corporate Riding Spandex:

I'll need to work lots harder at the gym to be worthy of this...


Anonymous said...

I wondered why a dutch friend has a bike with 27 gears and he told me it's because of the wind. Not for city riding (he has a diff bike for that) but for riding around the countryside, along dikes, etc.

Dave Hampton said...

Yeah, those dikes can be pretty demanding :)

I went out to look at bikes this afternoon, and was shocked at the prices...a pretty common bike looked to go for over 500 euros.

'Any secrets to scoring a deal?

AB said...

That is so funny about the mountain bikes. When I was there in 1994 everyone in the US had a mt bike but you couldn't find a single one in the NL. All bikes were the single speed schwinn style and they were all OLD. Even the old ones got stolen so why spend money on an expensive bike?

Now here, (at least in Bend, OR) you see more of the one speed older style variety (except they too are new and expensive) and fewer mt. bikes except on actual trails.

Don't spend a bunch of money. Just get something functional. 3 speeds are the most you will need and one speed is just fine. Afterall, the country is almost completely flat and the bikes have their own paved road system complete with traffic signals and the right of way!

Go to a bike shop or check the university bulletin boards. Do they have Craigslist there?